POLITICAL IMBROGLIO IN IMO APC : How Okorocha boxed himself into tight corner
• The story of stolen sensitive materials
When the renowned novelist, Professor Chinua Achebe, wrote his famous book, Things Fall Apart, nearly 60 years ago, not many people thought he was being a prophet of sorts. Today, one can safely say that Achebe may have simply looked into the future, saw the supposed “Siamese twins”, Governor Rochas Okorocha and his deputy, Prince Eze Madumere, and gave his epic verdict, Things Fall Apart!
How the duo met and bonded is a story for another day, as it would be of no use recounting how their friendship started.
All that can be said at this juncture is that when Okorocha wrestled the Imo governorship seat from Chief Ikedi Ohakim in 2011, he immediately appointed Madumere as his Chief of Staff.
And when the governor parted ways with his previous deputy, Sir Jude Agbaso, in controversial circumstances, the lot fell on Madumere to wear the deputy governor’s toga.
From a distance, it looked like everything was fine, especially as Madumere readily told anybody that cared, including Sunday Vanguard, of his unflinching love and loyalty to his boss!
He was taken for his words. But this was not to remain for a long while, because, like it is often said, pregnancy can only be hidden for a while.
Imo people started asking questions when they started seeing the former Secretary to the Government of Imo State (SSG), Sir Jude Ejiogu, and Chief of Staff, who doubles as Okorocha’s son in-law, Uche Nwosu, representing the governor at most official events.
Ejiogu, who has since fallen out of favour with Okorocha, was unceremoniously relieved of his post!
Then SSG was at an official function with his principal when his sack was announced on radio.
The story weaved around his unceremonious exit, which has not been denied by either the governor or his lieutenants, is that Ejiogu wanted to contest for governorship against the wish of his boss.
And, for the soft spoken, ever smiling prince of Mbieri Kingdom, Eze Madumere, his “sin”, also, is that he is interested in becoming governor of Imo! Investigations pointed to a few other factors.
They include the numerous anti-people policies of the governor, like the destruction of markets in several communities. Since Nigeria was just coming out of the excruciating economic meltdown, Madumere advised against it.
Another issue was that those who work with this government were allegedly treated like outcasts. It was also gathered that there was a structure that brought the administration to power but the people who served effectively to achieve the desired goals, were all decimated politically, because of Okorocha’s ambition to foist his son in-law.
Again, while the governor was busy sharing offices, Madumere, who was the actual founder of the Rescue Mission, was worried that the process was not democratic.
Sunday Vanguard gathered reliably that in February this year, the deputy governor had a chat with his boss. At this meeting, he sought to know how Imo people would accept his son in-law as his successor. He also sought to know what had happened to justice, fair play and equity, with particular reference to Owerri senatorial zone.
The issues of rotational principle among the three zones, rule of law and policy summersaults played prominent roles in the rift.
One near ugly incident around Madumere, which has not been explained till now, is the fire outbreak that razed part of the Deputy Governor’s Lodge in New Owerri. Although, Imo people were told that government was going to investigate the incident, nobody has been told the outcome of the investigation till date. Today, Madumere, for safety reasons, operates from the comfort of his ancestral homeland.
Currently, there is a rumour that plans are underway to impeach Madumere. A very reliable source in the House of Assembly told Sunday Vanguard that he had also heard the rumour.
“I must tell you the truth. I have heard that rumour and I must tell you that it is a fact. All that is required is the number of signatures from my colleagues and the process will begin”, the lawmaker said.
When asked to say what the “sins” of Madumere were, he said that he was not in a position to say, especially as he was not part of the clandestine plot.
“You know that I am, honestly, not part of the clandestine plot. I am, therefore, not in a position to know. We will get to know when the plotters bring it on the floor of the House”, the respondent explained.
Basically, the onslaught against the deputy governor had long started, possibly after the 2015 general elections. It was not just starving him of funds, so that he wouldn’t have the financial backup to execute whatever he wanted to do.
As at today, all Madumere elements are being removed from government. One of them is Martin Ohiri, the immediate past Commissioner for Sports, who was booted out of government because he said he did not believe in the macabre dance around the governor’s son in-law.
The Mbaitoli local government Transition Committee Chairman was also removed because he refused to dance to their tune. Another young man, Chinagorom, was also removed from the local government because he is said to be pro-Madumere.
The Commissioner for Pension Affairs, a native of Ikeduru local council area, has also been removed because they say he is Madumere element. The refrain in government circle is: “Are you for us or for Madumere?”
Sunday Vanguard learnt that the moment any appointee mentions Madumere or maintains stoic silence, the fellow loses his appointment.
One of the supposed “trusted” aides in Government House wondered why the deputy governor was made to pass through this ordeal, especially as he is not the only governorship aspirant in Imo.
Madumere’s loyalists stringly believe that there must be something very special about him. They insist that he is not interested in grabbing everything within range, but is interested in the right things being done every time.
The last APC ward congress appeared to be the climax. Okorocha, rightly or wrongly, saw his deputy as the head of the coalition forces that truncated his ambition to enthrone his acolytes as ward officers.
Credit to Vanguard Newspaper